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Close down space with this 4v2 small sided soccer game

If you watch the best defenders, they don’t give away space easily. Space is an attacker’s friend but it’s a defender’s enemy. This small-sided soccer defence game is a good one to work on with your defenders, but all players should be able to close down space when an opponent is receiving the ball.

Timing and anticipating by the defending team is everything. This will stop the need for a sliding, or last-ditch, tackle which can mean giving away dangerous free-kicks.

The defender needs to be able to see the ball and any possible movement by the opponent, then make the challenge when the opportunity presents itself.

Soccer small-sided game to close down space
What defenders must do in this small-sided soccer game

  • Try and anticipate, before the ball reaches the player.
  • Wait until the right moment presents itself before making a tackle – note the position of team-mates.
  • Tell your players to stay on their feet at all times in the game.

How to play this game

Tell the four attackers to pass the ball about inside the square and the two defenders to try and either win the ball or simply clear it out of the square.

Key soccer coaching tips

Tell your defenders to work together, so that as the first attacker passes the ball, one of the defenders follows the ball and quickly closes the receiver down, and the second defender moves to anticipate the next pass. This is a tiring training exercise for the defenders so change them often.

Click here for some competitive soccer team games to make defending fun.

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